January 2021

Bakery owner targeted by racist messages warns other businesses to be aware

Courtesy of NBC 4
By Adrienne Robbins
January 11, 2021

COLUMBUS (WCMH)- After a Black-owned bakery closed its doors on Sunday due to racially charged threats, the owner is now warning other business owners to be aware.

“This is real, businesses, Black businesses are being targeted and it needs to be on people’s radar,” said Letha Pugh, co-founder of Bake Me Happy.

Pugh said on Sunday someone called the Merion Village location, asking about the gluten-free bakery, then went on a violent, racially charged tirade and said people needed to get out of the building.

Owner says racial threats force Merion Village bakery to close

The Columbus Urban League says unfortunately this behavior is not surprising.

“We have to make sure that our system is just for everyone in this country and that we’re not going to tolerate people feeling emboldened to do whatever it is they want to do,” said Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League.

The Columbus Police Department is currently investigating the threats, saying it takes these types of threats very seriously.

Pugh is now warning other business owners to be cautious and aware.

“I think it is important for all businesses, but specifically for Black businesses right now… look around your space and if something were to happen, what plan do you have in place for you and your employees,” Pugh said.

Pugh said after taking additional security steps, Bake Me Happy will reopen Tuesday.

The Columbus Police Department recommends that anyone who receives a threat, document everything they can and reach out to law enforcement if they need to.

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